Friday, 30 May 2014

Unreleased unseen Heroquest (?) prototype figures (Bryan Ansell's collection)

This is potentially something a bit special. I say "potentially" because there's a bit of a mystery surrounding the origin of these figures. They were all found in a zip-lock bag in Bryan Ansell's collection with "HEROQUEST" written on the bag in marker pen. Although I can say for sure these are unreleased sculpts, I cannot be certain on their link with Heroquest. First the figures, then the reasons for why they are a mystery:

Barbarian

Wizard

Dwarf

Chaos Warrior

Elf

Knight

Knight

The link these figures may or may not have with Heroquest (or Advanced HQ, or any of the expansions) is a mystery for the following reasons:

1. We already know what the metal prototypes for the first five figures (Barbarian, Wizard, Dwarf, Chaos Warrior, Elf) - for both HQ and AHQ - look like. They have been published in early issues of White Dwarf and they are not the same figures as the ones above. The barbarian is very close, but still different. So if the above figures are HQ/AHQ prototypes, why would two prototypes have been produced for these figures? That doesn't rule out that there could have been more than one prototype of course.

2. I am not aware of any knight figures in the HQ/AHQ games.

I posted these images on www.yeoldeinn.com, a HQ site, and one of the responses I received was as follows:

"The one's referenced in the OP are likely those used by a by a GW employee (Ansell?) that was playtesting Hero Quest. Stephen Baker, Roger Ford, and Ben Rathbone were all key in HQ's development, but as evidenced by the WD adventures, other GW employees had access to playtesting. Any mini in the Citadel range was fair game for use.

Talisman was already out. Advanced Heroquest was developed 18 months after the development of Hero Quest. Ansell's bag o' minis resemble the Heroes from Talisman and Advanced Heroquest better. The Knight particularly matches the AHQ Warrior and Talisman Knight Templar better. Additionally, the Elf better matches the AHQ Elf and Talisman Wood Elf, both which also start with a long bow and sword. Same for the Ansell Dwarf--he is equipped with a hammer and shield, same as the AHQ Dwarf. Even the more mature-looking, bearded Wizard of AHQ better fits the OP wizard. Only Talisman featured a chaos warrior as a Hero.

Interestingly, the knight and chaos warrior figures as Heroes also saw release in Warhammer Quest, the GW successor of Advanced Heroquest and Hero Quest."

So, HQ, AHQ, Talisman? Or a mixture of all three? Or something else?

At a guess I'd say that some are definitely Jes Goodwin sculpts, and the others possibly Aly Morrison? I spoke to Bryan and Kev Adams about these figures, and Kev told me that Jes and Aly occasionally swapped figures and worked on different parts of the same figure.

If anyone out there can shed light on these figures I would be delighted to hear from you.

8 comments:

  1. My mind is drawn also to the DungeonQuest figures, I shall dig them out later and compare - the first Knight figure looks very familiar

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  2. These figures look very similar to the ones that came in the warlock of firetop mountain box!

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  3. not only the boots are different but seems the barbarian's sword is thinner than the other figures painted on the Heroquest box, isn't it? Or is it just a matter of angle view and it is bolder than what I can see here?

    I like the wizard, but the young heroquest wizard imho is still the best wizard in Citadel range.

    The other figures are nothing special, the chaos warrior has a big head and elbows too close to hips I think.

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  4. The idea of the Dwarf with the hammer did eventually end up in a unreleased expansion for HeroQuest and in the base game of Advanced Heroquest. ( http://toco.be/ahq/unreleased/sketches.jpg )

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  5. Now that I think of it, does anybody knwo who sculpted the American HeroQuest miniatures for the expansions for the Elf and Barbarian?

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  6. Stephen Baker, Roger Ford, and Ben Rathbone had damn all to do with HQ's developement. SB had produced a poor derivative of D&D. GW had to be called in to perform a rescue mission and deliver an actual game. We did that: we were paid for delivering an actual game that actually worked. We used nothing from the SB version. Stephen Baker managed one of our shops. I have no idea who Ford and Rathbone are.

    We always sculpted models in an open, casual, questing and experimental way: we were always looking for a better way forwards. That's all there is to it: we always did our absolute best in the time available. Moving forward fast and fearless always gives the best results. We never gave a toss about the thickness of a sword or any other petty detail: we just wanted every part of what we did to look as good as we could manage in the time that was available.

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  7. wow. looks lie job for Sherlock Holmes

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  8. About Roger Ford:

    NPD Toys is a European design agency that invents, licenses and develops toys and games. Founded in 1989 by the late Roger Ford, formerly the Vice President of R&D at Hasbro, the company has built up an impressive portfolio of intellectual property and loyal clients.

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